Si­mon Cas­tets /

Di­rec­tor of the Swiss Ins­ti­tute, New York

L'officiel Art - - Venise Seen By... -

In 1996, my pa­rents took me for what must have been their thir­tieth vi­sit. We took the train from Nor­man­dy through Pa­ris, over­night, and woke up in the la­goon see­min­gly floa­ting above the wa­ters. Va­len­tin Car­ron, who cu­ra­ted the most recent ex­hi­bi­tion at Swiss Ins­ti­tute, re­pre­sen­ted Swit­zer­land at the 2013 Bien­nale. His ex­hi­bi­tion of wall and floor-ba­sed sculp­tures, ins­tal­la­tions and rea­dy­mades im­pac­ted me so stron­gly that I thought I had Sten­dhal syn­drome. Of course, I can­not wait to see what the brilliant Pa­me­la Ro­sen­kranz will be doing at the Swiss Pa­vi­lion. The ten­sion she creates bet­ween shi­ny, syn­the­tic fa­cades and com­plex is­sues of geo-politics, philosophy and pop-cul­ture is sure to chal­lenge and en­ligh­ten us all.

I am ea­ger­ly an­ti­ci­pa­ting the project by New Zea­land's Si­mon Den­ny, whose in­ci­sive vi­sion of the ways in which po­wer and tech­no­lo­gy in­ter­sect is un­pa­ral­le­led.

I am al­so looking for­ward to ri­ding a jet ski through the ca­nals. The grit­ty por­tal in­to the ma­gic of Ve­nice, Piaz­zale Ro­ma, where you exit from cars and climb on­to the boats that will be your mode of trans­port from then on. Though the Bien­nale brings in new ex­hi­bits and ideas eve­ry two years, Tie­po­lo's frescoed ball­room at the Pa­laz­zo La­bia is per­pe­tual­ly ins­pi­ring and end­less­ly beau­ti­ful.

Pa­laz­zo La­bia Cam­po San Ge­re­mia Can­na­re­gio Pa­laz­zo Gras­si, which show­cases an in­cre­dible col­lec­tion, has a nuan­ced and thought­ful pro­gram that I was for­tu­nate to par­ti­ci­pate in last year with 89plus. We hos­ted a con­fe­rence fea­tu­ring a round table and scree­nings that fea­tu­red ar­tists in­clu­ding Sa­rah Abu Ab­dal­lah, Josh Bi­tel­li, and Bo­go­si Se­khu­ku­ni.

Pa­laz­zo Gras­si Cam­po San Sa­muele, 3231 pa­laz­zo­gras­

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